There's no place like home. No truer words were ever spoken.
I'm home after an awesome week in California. The best part? It didn't seem to fly by like most of my vacations. It felt like it hit just the right note.
(Don't you just love it when that happens?☺)
We were busy, yet relaxed. We did a lot of fun stuff but also found time to just chill.
It all began with a nice, uneventful flight to the west coast. We actually arrived an hour ahead of time (totally unheard of but a nice surprise nonetheless!). My sister-in-law met us at the airport. She drove us to my brother's firehouse at the airport where we had lunch with the firemen and received the grand tour of the place. Such a cool perspective of the airport.
Enjoyed touring their new town and eating and drinking at some of the local hotspots. What I really thought was cool was that the locals would ride their horses and tie them up right outside the stores and restaurants. (You can even ride up and through the restaurant drive-thrus!) The sidewalks were made for horses. No pavement there, it was hard packed dirt.
One night we went to a local casino night fundraiser where I got to see some of the locals dressed in their best cowpoke finery. I'm not a gambler and I have no idea how to play any casino games. But I got pulled into a game of craps where I had no idea what I was doing, but let me tell you I can throw a mean pair of dice! (At least that's what the other gamblers told me!)
My brother asked if there was anything I wanted to do and I mentioned a few things. But the one thing I really wanted, and had never gotten to do on my previous visits, was go to the Getty Museum. So off we went to L.A. It was fantastic! Amazing! Really would love to spend more time to see everything. So many buildings filled with awe inspiring art, not to mention living art in the form of the beautiful gardens.
The only fee to visit The Getty is for parking. The tram up the hill to the museum and the museum itself are free! The views from atop the hill are breathtaking. 360° of Los Angeles! We picked up specially designed iPods and headphones at the front desk which provided lots of supplemental info for all the artifacts as we moved from room to room and building to building.
After the museum, we headed to Venice Beach. Now THIS is the place to go if you want to do some serious people watching! Everything from street performers to skateboarders. We ate at The Sidewalk Café which was full of the loud hungry beach crowd.
When the sun started sinking low in the sky we called it a day. Went to the Beach House for a delicious dinner and a view of a beautiful sunset over the Pacific.
The rest of our week we did some shopping, went to see a movie "Oz" (see my upcoming review/post), visited with my sister-in-law's family, went to karaoke night at a local hotspot, The WaterWheel Saloon, and got to spend time with my all-growed up nephew (who I never get to see enough of).
What a trip! It had it all. Great people, good times, and picture perfect weather. Can't wait to go back again. Hope it isn't another 7 years before I get back out there. That was way too long. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some good airfare and head west again.
Thanks bro! Thanks sis!